Chapter 8 A Post-Orientalist Turn: Pascal Quignard, Michèle Métail, and China

In: The Western Reinvention of Chinese Literature, 1910-2010
Xiaofan Amy Li
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This essay explores how Pascal Quignard’s (1948–) and Michèle Métail’s (1950–) Chinese-inspired writings contribute to French literary engagements with China. I discuss Quignard’s re-writing of ancient Chinese texts via stylistic cannibalization and semi-fictitious translation, and Métail’s fusion of sinology with poetry in her scholarly and creative practices. Both writers reinvent Chinese literature and culture in ways that eschew Orientalist assumptions and exoticist images, proposing a culturally egalitarian relation between East and West and a de-exoticized vision of China. This suggests a post-Orientalist turn in the epistemological conditions and literary strategies of contemporary French representations of Chinese culture.

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The Western Reinvention of Chinese Literature, 1910-2010

From Ezra Pound to Maxine Hong Kingston